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Showing posts from September, 2018

The Future of Training Nationals

This morning when I got up I had that feeling again.  It was the feeling of finishing; the last day of our classroom here in Oaxaca.  I've had this feeling many times, and understand it’s mixed with both joy and a bit of sadness in leaving the students.  In the course of a week, you tend to grow very close with your student pastors.  I have always found that the bonds created over an intense week of study and meals together forge significantly deeper relationships than normal.  We will graduate 25 students today at mid-day, and then share our final meal together.

After we share our final day of study, lecture, questions, and answers, the pastors and women missionaries and teachers will then prepare to return to their homes and churches to continue ministry.  They have been strongly admonished by us and our hosts to understand the value of their training.  It must be passed on!  They have the material in their own tongue, and so now the ball is back firmly in their court.

Early Sat…

Tamales and Training

After a great day in two churches yesterday Global Baptist Training Foundation started its first official day of training today here in Oaxaca, Mexico.  We left the little house where we are staying to walk a few blocks on a dusty brick-road  to the church.  Unexspectedly, we were treated to our second incredible breakfast in as many days; hot tamales!  We each got two; one was sweet, and the other was the spicy version.  It was your choice if you wanted to douse it with more hot sauce.  Then they brought out kettles of Mexican coffee!  Not a bad way to start your day!

The conference began with our ministry partners who support church-planting through our associate Greg Dixon and Advance Ministries.  They have begun over fifty churches in Mexico in the last several years.  Our partnership is based on a very simple premise.  That premise is that those we theologically equip for ministry are eligible for receiving short-term funding for starting a church in their local places of intere…

When in Doubt....

Each of us occupies a certain space in this world.  If we are Christians, we occupy our space in the name of Jesus Christ, and everybody that knows us also knows that fact.  In reality, as believers we are essentially walking around with targets on our backs.  The world watches us and wonders why we do what we do. Sometimes it agrees with us, sometimes it doesn't.  Sometimes it aligns itself in direct opposition to everything for which we stand.  However, make no mistake about the fact that this world is not your friend, nor will it ever be your friend.   It will not come to help you in your time of need.  Why?

First because it's supreme leader hates God and is the father and propagator of all lies.  Satan cannot tell the truth for long or else truth would win.  He only uses the truth to advance his own abominable causes in his ultimate fight against God.  He mixes just enough truth in with error to make the error more palatable.  That fight began in this world the day the de…

A Changing View of Doing Missions

I had the opportunity to speak in a great church in the Boston area yesterday morning and share what God is doing through Global Baptist Training Foundation.  As I shared what has happened in the last six years even I was amazed to recognize once again all that has transpired.

I remember thinking that we would have to rely on Western missionaries to find out where the native pastors were located in various countries so we could arrange for training classes to be held.  I envisioned a lot of telephone and email exchanges trying to discover the location of nationals and then working out a strategy for how we would arrange a classroom.  What I didn't know is that this was never going to happen!

Six years later I have never made that first call or email attempting to discover the whereabouts of indigenous pastors and church leaders.  Starting in 2012 when our first website was created and our organization was online we began to be noticed.  However, most of our national hosts in Afric…

Why Did Jesus Stop Reading in Isaiah 61?

In Luke 4 we read the story of Jesus coming into His hometown of Nazereth to preach in the local synagogue.  As I read the story I was engrossed in this event of Jesus' homecoming at the onset of His  three year ministry.  This is where He grew up and of course, everyone knew the carpenter's son.  As Jesus stood up in the synagogue that morning there must have been a host of nostalgic mothers who were enraptured with Christ's commanding presence.  He stood up, asked for the Isaiah scroll and immediately opened it to the area of what we know as Isaiah 61, and began to read the opening verses,

The Spirit of Lord is upon me; because Jehovah has annointed me to preach good tidings to the meek; He hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; to proclaim the year of Jehovah's favor, ..........

Then right in the middle of that verse, the text then says that Jesus rolled the scroll back up …

A Time to Remember

This week before I open our first class in Mexico, Grace and I have had the opportunity to attend the weddings of two of our former college students.  It is both a joy and a poignant reminder of how fast time passes in each of our lives.  On Saturday we witnessed Chet and Legna's union in Kansas City.  Chet grew up with our son John and spent lots of time in our home eating, sleeping, and developing a long-term relationship with our family.  Chet is now starting a new church plant in New England.  Several times, we heard Chet tell us how much our home and family meant to him over those precious years.

On Saturday of this week we will attend another wedding with Kelsey and Nick in Maine.  Kelsey too, has been connected to our family and ministry for many years.  She was our first teacher in Rwanda at one of the schools with which we are associated through GBTF.  She is one of the bravest students we have ever had the privilege of training.

As we have the honor this week of interac…

Forgetting and Forging Ahead

It seldom matters who we are, where we have come from, or where we are going now, that the distant past doesn't rear its head so high in our rear view mirrors that we sometimes are overcome.  Yes, we can be overcome with fear, regret, or even a fantasy world re-creation of past situations that did not turn out the way we wanted or end the way we would have wished.
Sadly, many Christians are living in their past.  But we need to be reminded of something that is true for all of us as believers in Jesus Christ.  We can choose not to live there anymore!  That's right.  You don't have to don the victim mentality every time you get out of bed.  You don't have to respond to any given situation the same way you always have in the past.  You don't have to feel about people what you felt since you have known them.  You can change all of it by simply choosing not to.
The Apostle Paul gave us the exact prescription for how this can be done...every day.  Here it is:
Not that I …

A Fresh Reminder

Having just returned from Liberia, I have once again a refreshed perspective about missions being done through the local church.  Several times during the week I spent with the nearly seventy native pastors I talked with them about the best ways to reach their country for Christ.  Without any exception they believe that the keys to reaching their families, neighbors, and friends resides in trained Liberian servants of God who already know the language, understand the culture, and love the people.  
For many of us who either labor for Global Baptist Training Foundation or support it, it comes as no surprise that this is the sentiment of locals all over the globe who know Jesus Christ and desire to reach their populaces through the building up of Scriptural churches and pastors, that nationals want to take full responsibility for the evangelism of their nations.  I noticed this week when interacting with these pastors that they deeply sense the need for training and support to do the L…